placeholderThe world's leading tracker of Internet trends is a former Morgan Stanley analyst who's now a partner at renowned venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins. Meeker recently presented her 2017 Internet Trends report -- a massive slide deck that she sped through in an hour.
On May 31 TechCrunch published a helpful article that picked what it saw were the 56 best slides and what they mean. The general trend remains unchanged -- if you build a product that supplies more benefit for less money, people will switch to it.
Meeker highlights the obvious -- that smartphones are gaining a growing share of peoples' attention and that Amazon is reaching critical mass when it comes to replacing the role of retail stores.
But the slowdown in smartphone sales growth suggests that it's time for the next big thing -- sadly Meeker's slides do not indicate to me what that might be.
If you want to know which of her five slides I think are the most important and what to do about them, read on.
1. Smartphone sales growth slowing
Last year smartphone sales grew 10%, this year the growth rate tumbled to 3%.
Like all these trends, where you stand depends on where you sit. If your business depends on growth in smartphone sales, you are going to need to hope that Apple's next version of its 10-year-old iPhone ends up reviving growth.
If that doesn't happen, your business will get much more competitive as your rivals fight more fiercely over very little growth.
At the same time, you should be looking for what might be the next important piece of hardware that people will use to get more value at a lower price when they interact with others over the Internet.
2. Amazon is killing retail stores
Retail store closings are expected to reach a 20 year high as Sears, Michael Kors, Gamestop, and many others shut down outlets.
If your business depends on helping retail stores boost their sales and traffic, you could be in trouble. Even though your offering might be targeting their biggest problem -- declining sales, their executives are scrambling to survive.
This means that they are calculating with more precision how much cash they have left and trying to slash their burn rate. Unless your product can make a well-documented case that it will boost a retailer's cash flow, you will not have much luck selling it.
3. Mobile ad dollars exceed desktop
Advertisers are now spending more to reach people on their smartphones than on their desktops.
If you are trying to reach people these days, you should allocate more of your advertising budget to smartphone advertising than to desktop. To be sure, this advice works best if you are trying to sell to younger consumers -- if your target demographics skews older, you may be better off emphasizing desktop advertising.
4. Online advertising dominated by two companies
Google and Facebook control 85% of online advertising -- a share that is growing.
Since these companies are continuing to innovate in order to give advertisers better returns on their Internet ad budgets, there is a good chance that you may be able to get the most value from spending with them.
But should they reach the point where they feel that they no longer face competition, you could end up paying higher prices in the short run until upstarts seize the opportunity created by their rising prices.
5. Advertising on the Internet will soon surpass TV
By 2018, the Internet will receive a higher proportion of advertising budgets than TV does.
The TV industry is facing serious competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon which are changing the way people consume content and providing people ways of getting entertained without paying ever-growing monthly fees to Comcast and Verizon.
If your business depends on the success of the TV industry, odds are good that you will be increasingly squeezed. And if you had tried to reach your customers by advertising on TV, you may have even more reasons to spend more of your marketing budget on Internet ads.
There's much more in Meeker's 355 slide presentation but what strikes me as an important missing slide is the one that tells us what will come next now that the smartphone is maturing.